FTX Cyprus included in “debtor” subsidiaries as Perella Weinberg hired to oversee reorg
Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX has announced that it and approximately 101 additional affiliated companies are launching a “strategic review” of their global assets, to begin to maximize recoverable value for stakeholders.
The group of companies, calling itself the “FTX Debtors”, have engaged M&A and restructuring specialist investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners LP as lead investment bank and commenced preparation of certain businesses for sale or reorganization. The company noted that the engagement of Perella Weinberg Partners is subject to Court approval.
Interestingly, new FTX CEO John Ray (who came in to oversee the FTX bankruptcy after Sam Bankman-Fried left) said that a number of the company’s operating subsidiaries are solvent and are not actually debtors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy – although that would ultimately need to be confirmed by the US bankruptcy courts.
Not included in Mr. Ray’s list of “healthy” subsidiaries was FTX EU Ltd, the Cyprus based entity set up earlier this year by the company to become its base for EU operations. FTX EU hired along the way a number of FX and CFD industry executives to run the FTX Cyprus operation, and received a CIF license from Cypriot financial regulator CySEC. However the FTX EU license was suspended by CySEC soon after FTX’s troubles came to light. And now, FTX EU was listed as a “debtor” company within the organiaztion.
FTX CEO John Ray stated:
“Based on our review over the past week, we are pleased to learn that many regulated or licensed subsidiaries of FTX, within and outside of the United States, have solvent balance sheets, responsible management and valuable franchises.”
“Some of these subsidiaries – such as LedgerX LLC and Embed Clearing LLC, for example – are not debtors in the chapter 11 cases. Other subsidiaries – such as FTX Japan KK, Quoine Pte. Ltd, FTX Turkey Teknoloji Ve Ticaret A.Ş., FTX EU Ltd, FTX Exchange FZE and Zubr Exchange Ltd – are debtors. Either way, it will be a priority of ours in the coming weeks to explore sales, recapitalizations or other strategic transactions with respect to these subsidiaries, and others that we identify as our work continues.”
“I have instructed the team at the FTX Debtors to prioritize the preservation of franchise value as best we can in these difficult circumstances. I respectfully ask all of our employees, vendors, customers, regulators and government stakeholders to be patient with us as we put in place the arrangements that corporate governance failures at FTX prevented us from putting in place prior to filing our chapter 11 cases.”
The “FTX Debtors” said that they have filed today various motions with the US Bankruptcy Court seeking interim relief from the Court that, if granted, would allow the operation of a new global cash management system and the ordinary course payment of critical vendors and vendors at foreign subsidiaries. A hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
The FTX Debtors have not set a specific timetable for completion of this process, and it does not intend to disclose further developments unless and until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or necessary.
The FTX Debtors have also established Kroll as its claims agent.